Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Reverie"

Cover of Goblin Market

Christina Rossetti is the sister of much more well known brother Dante Gabriel whose painting “Reverie” adorns the cover of the 1994 Phenix paperback version I have of her poems.

While searching for a suitable thesis subject for my central character, Helen, my friend Marion, member of my writing group, adept structural editor and ex-literature lecturer, suggested Rossetti, in particular her poem Goblin Market, which, Marion suggested, was pretty sexy stuff.

And indeed it is! What is ostensibly a fairy tale about two sisters seduced by goblin merchants is full of lush sensual imagery that has helped enormously with the steamy beginning to my new novel. At the moment I’m even giving each section Rossetti quotes as subheadings. The first being, “Eat me, drink me, love me.” Here’s a little more of the poem to whet your appetite.

She cried ‘Laura,’ up the garden

‘Did you miss me?

Come and kiss me.

Never mind the bruises,

Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices

Squeezed from goblin fruits for you,

Goblin pulp and goblin dew.

Eat me, drink me, love me;

Laura, make much of me:

For your sake I have braved the glen

And had to do with goblin merchant men.’

Now tell me, is it just me, or is that seriously saucy (or should I say juicy?) stuff? It certainly set the tone for the opening of my new manuscript. Thanks Marion and the fates who brought Goblin Market to me at just the right time.

I’ve been writing like a fury. Should have over 20 000 words down and part one completed at the end of tomorrow’s session.

Life is great when you’re writing something fresh and new. Yes, some self doubts, but I keep pushing them aside, whatever is trash can easily be jettisoned or fixed up later. Enjoying the freedom of the first draft, the joy of unedited creation! 

Wishing you all more of the same.



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